English Heritage has long been reluctant to allow excavations that could damage this precious monument. But Darvill and Wainwright's proposal, inspired by an imaginative theory and requiring relatively little disturbance to the site, was deemed acceptable. While the site needs to be preserved, English Heritage recognizes that it must also be studied further.
Meanwhile, the usual throng of tourists passed by on the path circling the monument. Anyone curious to know what all the fuss was about could witness events inside a specially erected marquee, which relayed live video feeds from within the stone circle—and sold a nice selection of Stonehenge T-shirts.
Dan Jones is a freelance science writer who has contributed articles to New Scientist.